For the longest time, saying “NO” made me really uncomfortable. Being a people pleaser, I definitely didn’t want others to have a bad impression of me, or even have the slightest thought of me being selfish and unapproachable. Saying “YES” was much simpler, it is a quicker way for others to like me. They will see me as a helpful, easy-going, and polite person. However, along the way, I realised that saying yes to everything only makes other people value your time/effort less. It gives you nothing but unnecessary stress!
This is particularly true when comes to managing your personal finance. Learning how to say no, especially to the ones you love is never an easy task. Everyone will face their own financial struggles, but it is not on you to shoulder their responsibilities. Even though sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter have given people the capability to seek for financial help from all their connections on the Internet, you don’t need to do so, especially when if it’s at your own expense.
Saying NO also allows you to avoid spending unnecessary money. You probably have been in a situation where a friend invited you to one of his most expensive party held at Marina Bay Sands, and all your other friends are going (including your crush) – it is going to be hard to decline the invitation. But the truth is, you need to learn to say NO for the sake of your budget. Are you willing to burn a hole in your wallet for just ONE night, then live pathetically till the next payday? Sometimes, we need to learn to not give into peer pressure and learn to stand our grounds – chances are… you probably aren’t missing out on that much and truth is… you guys probably aren’t even that close too.
Why saying ‘NO’ is tough?
What we are fearful of is what comes after saying no. Are we still going to be friends? Will I get judged? I hope this doesn’t hurt the friendship…? The fear of judgment is strong enough to manipulate you into saying yes when you don’t actually want to.
Furthermore, when faced with the decision of saying either yes or no, saying yes seems like the easier way out. It helps to maintain harmony without upsetting the other party’s feelings (but at your own expense!). Everyone probably has been in a situation where you agreed to do something, but in your head, you just know you will regret your answer!
Even though, being on the receiving end of a NO can be brutal. The disappointed-look on the other party’s face and the constant “Please lah” might just make you want to change your answer to a YES. But what you got to do is to hold firmly to your answer, and politely decline. Turning down an offer to do something because you are saving money can be tough and challenging; but just remember, at the end of the day, you need to be accountable for your own personal finance journey.
Simple tips to effectively say ‘No’
#1: Don’t Rush It:
When you’ve been asked a question, you don’t always have to answer immediately. Practice saying “Let me get back to you on this”. Give yourself some time to process the question, assess all your options, and think of a suitable reply. The pause will prevent you from simply agreeing out of your own emotions and you can always request some time to think about it or give a proper answer another day. What’s the hurry?
#2: Don’t Feel Pressured:
Think about the question thoroughly and objectively. Don’t just say yes because you feel obligated or simply because you do not want to ruin the friendship. Learn to separate your emotions and answer as you would have advised another friend to answer. Remember, let logic rule your decisions when it comes to money, not emotions.
#3: Be Honest and Respectful:
When you are ready to give a reply, just be genuine with the other party. Let them understand your point of view of why you are saying no, and perhaps you could offer other forms of help if needed. If your friend can’t accept your decision, you probably can judge for yourself is this a friend you’d like as well.
It is perfectly okay to say YES too!
Saying no is important when it comes to your own personal finance, but there could be some ‘yes’ days as well! Agreeing to occasional splurge or self-care days with your friends are possible as long as you watch your spending and you keep to your budget. Most importantly, it is not smart of you to say yes to everything. By communicating ‘no’ effectively to your loved ones, can help to main the balance that essential for reaching your financial goals.